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2016年6月大学英语四级阅读练习:woman's role

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2016年6月大学英语四级阅读练习:woman's role

In many traditional societies a woman's role is restricted to that of mother (for the continuation of the race) , and she is confined to family and household activities, including help out in the field and market. In some ethnic(种族的) communities in Indonesia, even today, women are supposed to do the hard labor in the rice fields, while men take it easy in their coffee shops.

When I visited the island of Timor in eastern Indonesia in 1987, I was told by friends that in the interior of the islands, where roads are still non-existent,villagers traveled to market either on foot or on horseback. It was a common sight to see the husband riding a horse, with his wife walking behind him carrying a heavy bundle of produce on her head to the market. On the island of Alor, also in eastern Indonesia, I met an old man aged about 80 years, proudly boasting to me that he had nine wives. "But you are a Catholic," I said to him. "How could you have nine wives?" He smiled, and said: "I married only once in church, but the other eight wives I married according to our traditional laws. " In many ethnic communities in Indonesia the good woman or wife is one who obey her husband, who does not go around gossiping, who cleans her home and cooks good food for the family, who is diligent in the field, who does not visit friends too much, and who gives birth of lots of children, especially boys.

In Indonesia many years ago the wives of government workers or members of the armed forces were organized into women's organizations. The leadership of these women's organizations was set up according to the hierarchical positions of the members' husbands. For example, the organization of women of personnel of a government ministry would automatically have as its chairperson the wife of the minister at the national level, and the chairperson of the provincial organization would be the wife of the governor, and so on to the lower administrative levels. It is amazing how a woman who may have an interest in being a leader nevertheless automatically becomes a chairperson because of the official position of her husband. When the husband is no longer minister or governor, she also automatically loses her position. Many of these women have complained to me that they feel this is a straitjacket(约束物) imposed on them, but they feel they have to accept the role for the sake of safeguarding their husbands' careers.

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